All Hail the Voter's Pamphlet!
If you are an Oregon resident of voting age and (hopefully!) registered to vote, you've received the most interesting, entertaining and informative piece of mail you'll get this fall.
Last year, or perhaps a couple ago, I posted an extravaganza on the voter's pamphlet. Well, seeing that I am working again and have a little more of a life, I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, the candidates statements still make interesting reading. We've got some newer parties on the ballot (let's hear it for the Working Families Party--welcome!) and some talked-about parties with no group statement (c'mon TEA Partiers, become a party already. Otherwise you're just a group of hangers-outers with no agenda to share with the voting public other than what you don't like. I need more information.). I myself found the methods of selection of the Independent detailed in their Party Statement rather forward-thinking and inclusive, and was impressed with their process.
This is the reason I love the Voter's Pamphlet. As an unaffiliated voter, I get a chance to see how some of the political machines are actually run. Some party statements are wonderfully educational, and some woefully rhetorical, but they are all illuminating and give me a nice insight into what each party and candidate thinks is important in this election cycle. We've also got a few measures to vote on, too, so be sure to read about them instead of just relying on mailers, editorials and television ads. Your email in-box is likely going to be busy with messages from people who think just like you do, because that's how they got your address, so the Voter's Pamphlet is your chance to get the full picture. Whether or not you agree with an opposing position or viewpoint is no reason not to be curious why they think what they think.
And one more thing to add-- Oregon Rocks the Mail-In Ballot! If we did this in all 50 States, there'd be better record keeping, accountability and more facile recounts. No conspiracy theories blaming DieBold for rigging elections, and everyone would have the chance to vote without waiting for hours at the polls. More equality in elections, period. I love living here, so I vote! Send in your ballot and exercise your right to fully live in a country where you actually can vote and see your vote counted. It's a beautiful thing.